Impact of East Asian summer monsoon heating on the interannual variation of the South Asian high

Pengfei Zhang, Yimin Liu, Bian He

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Occupying the upper troposphere over subtropical Eurasia during boreal summer, the South Asian high (SAH) is thought to be a regulator of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), which is particularly important for regional climate over Asia. However, there is feedback of the condensational heating associated with EASM precipitation to SAH variability. In this study, interannual variation of SAH intensity and the mechanisms are investigated. For strong SAH cases, the high pressure system intensifies and expands. Significant positive anomalies of the geopotential height and upper-tropospheric temperature were found over theMiddle East and to the east of the Tibetan Plateau (TP), namely, the western and the eastern flanks of the SAH. The dynamical diagnosis and the numerical experiments consistently show that the interannual variation of SAH intensity is strongly affected by EASM precipitation over the eastern TP-Yangtze River valley. The feedback of the condensational heating anomaly to the SAH is summarized as follows: Excessive EASM heating excites a local anticyclone in the upper troposphere and warms the upper troposphere, leading to the eastward extension of the SAH's eastern edge and reinforcing geopotential height anomalies over East Asia. Furthermore, the monsoonal heating excites a westward-propagating Rossby wave that increases the upper-tropospheric geopotential height and warms the upper troposphere over the Middle East. In conclusion, this study suggests a mechanistic paradigm in which the EASM may also be a modulator of SAH variation rather than just a passive result of the latter as traditionally thought. The results suggest that the EASM and the SAH are a tightly interactive system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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